"Everyone involved in the Rogers School closing is sad," said Tina Sandstrom, director of elementary education. "No one wants to see one of our elementary schools close, but we understand the fiscal situation within our district and have moved forward. A large part of that positive momentum has been the work of the transition team."
The 15-member transition team was formed to plan and implement a smooth transition for students and families for the 2012-2013 school year. This group was very clear in its purpose to work through a deliberate process to make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible for students and parents.
Beginning in September, the vast majority of Rogers' students will be reassigned to either Bush Elementary School or Fletcher Elementary School. The transition team is comprised of school staff and parents from Rogers, Bush and Fletcher Schools. The transition team kept parents informed by sending information home and placing it on the Jamestown Public Schools' website. The team answered questions and concerns and initiated activities to unite Rogers' students with their new schools. For example, Rogers Elementary School students have traveled by grade level to their new schools, toured the schools, met new students and teachers, and participated in school activities. The transition team initiated open houses and invited families to family movie nights and family fun fairs to ensure families were included. Director of buildings & grounds/transportation Carl Pillittieri met with the team to discuss questions and concerns for bussing students to Fletcher School. On Aug. 30, Fletcher School will hold an open house for all new Rogers' students and families, which will include a practice bus run to help familiarize them with transportation procedures.
Bush Elementary School kindergartner Emma Krzanak and her classmates meets Bush Elementary School first grade teacher Amanda Sischo and her class during a recent visit where students conducted a scavenger hunt to learn more about their new school.
"At a time when parents may feel uncomfortable with their child changing schools, it was comforting to know that the school district was concerned and cared enough to make the process as smooth as possible," said Rogers Elementary School parent Beth Stockwell, who was a member of the transition team. "We met once a month for a year and will continue to meet next year. We had a forum to address our concerns or questions, and we knew where we could go to get answers. School personnel were very open in helping us feel better about the transition."
The district would like to express a huge thank you to the members of the transition team who took the time and energy to help make the Rogers School closing as smooth as possible: parents Beth Stockwell, Renea Fiorella, Terra Marra, Kim Malarkey, Stacey Micciche, Delia Crooks, Joette Fisher, Rogers staff, Chris Storms and Jill Smith, Bush staff Tracy Nelson, Fletcher staff Anne Sischo, Bush Elementary School principal Dan Bracey, Fletcher Elementary School principal Walt Samick, Rogers Elementary School principal David Hickey, and Mrs. Sandstrom. The team will make a presentation at the June 12 board of education meeting.